Alleged abuse victim thanks Internet for help, gets called “blackmailer”

The young woman who spurred an online uproar after posting a video showing her father allegedly beating her, has now thanked the Internet for helping her. But not everyone is saying "you're welcome." 


Fruzsina Eördögh


Published Nov 30, 2011   Updated Jun 3, 2021, 12:47 am CDT

Hillary Adams, the young woman who caused quite a media stir after posting a video of her judge father beating her, thanked the Internet for their help last night.

Almost a month ago, Adams uploaded footage to YouTube showing her being whipped with a belt  and sworn at. The video immediately sparked a string of Internet vigilantism. Some of the vigilantes were malicious and moved beyond simply mocking her father (a Texas Supreme Court judge) on the Internet, while others were more benign in their efforts to flood local media stations with news tips to the video.

The popularity of the video eventually led to her father’s suspension, and Adams, with her newfound child abuse advocacy fame, hit the talk-show circuit.

Yesterday, Adams uploaded a 40-second video simply titled “Thank You.”

Filmed in a darkened room, Adams speaks in a quiet, almost shy voice.

“This is a long overdue thank you to everyone out there who helped change the lives of not only me and my mother,” says Adam. “I can’t say thank you enough, you have no idea what a thing you guys have done.”

For some redditors, “Thank You” was too little too late. Many users accused her of using the Internet as her personal army. (Reddit is, after all, where Adams original video went viral.)

The video was taken years ago, but Adams uploaded it  following a recent string of harassment from her father, Adams said in the original Reddit thread linking to the now-viral beating video.

Redditors accused Adams of releasing the video to get back at her father after he threatened to take away her car.

“It’s kind of rude how she didn’t thank everybody for also helping her blackmail her dad into letting her keep her Mercedes,” wrote rogereggbert, in the most upvoted comment in a thread about the “Thank You” video.

“I saw the video before reading your comment and her response did seem like she was manipulating the white knights of the internet,” added jerimiahwarren. “Her dad shouldn’t have been beating her, but I don’t think she’s in the right either.”

Over on YouTube, a similar discussion erupted in the comment thread, with some YouTubers even calling her a “vindictive blackmailer.”

This may be a cautionary tale for seeking justice on the Internet; when you play with fire, sometimes you get burned.

Others, however, knew to accept the gratitude.

“You’re welcome. Good luck with the rest of your life :)” wrote BSbusters on YouTube.

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*First Published: Nov 30, 2011, 5:18 pm CST